Commissioner Bud Selig has asked Jason Giambi to speak with George Mitchell within two weeks. Then Selig will decide what punishment to give Giambi for tacitly saying he used steroids in an interview with USA Today last month.
Giambi thought his words were off the record at the time.
“Any admission regarding the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances, no matter how casual, must be taken seriously,” Selig said. “It is in the best interests of baseball for everyone, including players, to cooperate with Senator Mitchell in his investigation.
“Discipline for wrongdoing is important, but it is also important to create an environment so players can feel free to honestly and completely cooperate with this important investigation.”
The Yankees don’t see it that way. “I think it’s a joke,” said Mike Myers, a member of the MLBPA executive board. “There’s no reason he should be punished in the first place.”
Said player rep Mike Mussina: “Bud thinks he can do whatever he wants.”
The MLBPA said in a statement: “We do not believe that grounds exist for disciplining Jason Giambi based upon the newspaper article, anything which sprang from it, or his decision whether he will meet with Senator Mitchell.”
This smacks of McCarthyism. Giambi is being asked to name names or suffer the consequences. Unless there is evidence out there we don’t know of, Selig has no basis to punish Giambi. There is no positive test since testing began.
For the Yankees, it’s a bit of a moot point now as Giambi is injured. But it will be a major story going forward.